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Philadelphia Film Festival

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April 4, 2008 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphians have long been accused of having an inferiority complex when it comes to our city, wedged as it is between those other metropoli, New York and Washington, which, it must be said, occasionally eclipse us. But there's no need to fret when it comes to film festivals: The Philadelphia Film Festival, now in its 17th year, can hold its own as one of the largest on the East Coast. The festival, which will nourish between 65,000 and 70,000 aesthetically ravenous cineasts with a total of 243 feature films and 108 shorts over the next 12 days, has also become one of the best, says artistic director Ray Murray.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
After giving fans a weeklong tour of world cinema, the Philadelphia Film Festival returns home this weekend with Greater Filmadelphia, a program of six feature films made by local artists or set in the Philly region. "The program tries to highlight local talent and stories that are from here," festival artistic director Michael Lerman said in a phone chat, "to help us stay connected to the film community here and the community at large. " Five of the films will screen Saturday at the Prince Music Theater as part of an all-day mini-fest.
NEWS
October 18, 2010 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Parade , a subtly subversive, funny, and heartbreaking parable about modern alienation by veteran Japanese director Isao Yukisada, opens with a discussion of how inauthentic people experience time. A fun discussion, at that. Part Søren Kierkegaard, part Friends , Parade is a keen dissection of the relationships among four hip, attractive twentysomethings - two boys and two girls - who've been thrown together as flatmates. Out of sync with coworkers, lovers, and one another, the four - an unemployed actress hoping to ride the coattails of her famous beau, an apathetic student, an illustrator flirting with alcoholism, and an office drone - are poster children for Jean-Paul Sartre's hell.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2010 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
In Blue Valentine , which gets its gala screening Friday at the Philadelphia Film Festival, the sad-sack marrieds played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams check into a cheesy themed motel, trying to spark their love life. They're in the "Future Room. " Now in its 19th year, and moved over from its traditional spring slot, PFF - which began Thursday with the amazing Natalie Portman psycho-thriller Black Swan and ends a week from Sunday with a one-day 25-feature marathon - is, in a way, like that motel: It has 114 rooms, each offering a different experience for the folks checking in. And sure, there's cheesiness and there's sex, but also rooms that promise deep emotional experiences, rooms set in exotic foreign lands, rooms behind bars (there are at least three prison movies)
NEWS
November 4, 2010 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before Philly became such a film mecca - well before we had Cinefest, QFest, the Independent Film fest, the Terror Film fest, or the Philadelphia Film Festival - there was the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, which will launch its 30th season Saturday with the music documentary The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground at the Gershman Y in Center City. "When we started, I don't think there was another film festival in Philly," PJFF chair and cofounder Judith K. Golden says with some pride.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2008 | By Tirdad Derakhshani INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphians have long been accused of having an inferiority complex when it comes to our city, wedged as it is between those other metropoli, New York and Washington, which, it must be said, occasionally eclipse us. But there's no need to fret when it comes to film festivals: The Philadelphia Film Festival, now in its 17th year, can hold its own as one of the largest on the East Coast. The festival, which will nourish between 65,000 and 70,000 aesthetically ravenous cineasts with a total of 243 feature films and 108 shorts over the next 12 days, has also become one of the best, says artistic director Ray Murray.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2004 | By JEROME MAIDA For the Daily News Laurie Conrad Catherine Lucey 'Miffo' Howard Gensler
Academy Award nominee and world-famous animator Bill Plympton will be in Philadelphia this weekend for the International Animation Festival, part of the Philadelphia Film Festival. He will be at the University of the Arts Gershman Hall (Broad and Pine streets) from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, screening work and creating animation. Then, also tomorrow, he'll head over to the Prince Music Theater for a screening of his new feature film, "Hair High," at 3 p.m. On Sunday, he'll sign books at Atomic City Comics on South Street from 3 to 5 p.m. Plympton's illustrations have graced the pages of the New York Times, Vogue, House Beautiful, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Screw and Vanity Fair.
NEWS
April 3, 2003 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
Bearing a child takes a mere nine months. Giving birth to a film usually takes a bit longer. When the film is the story of your struggle to get to know your dead father, the process requires the better part of a lifetime. Filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn, 40, began shooting interviews for a documentary about the great Philadelphia architect Louis I. Kahn nearly four years ago. But the images and ideas for My Architect: A Son's Journey, shown tomorrow and April 13 at the Philadelphia Film Festival, which opens tonight, had been percolating in his brain since he was able to wonder about his unusual family circumstances.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2005 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Festival? Immersion is more like it. The 14th annual Philadelphia Film Festival is an ocean of movies touching six continents. From last night's opener, Ferpect Crime, a Spanish comedy, to the April 20 closer, Music From the Inside Out, a celebration of Philadelphia Orchestra players, there are 134 features in all. This year's PFF boasts stat power and star power, with actors Malcolm McDowell and Steve Buscemi on hand to receive artistic achievement...
NEWS
February 11, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
First there was a film festival, then there was no film festival, and now there is again, kind of. In other words, Philadelphia's ongoing saga of "As the Film Festival Turns" has taken a happy spin. Organizers of the Phildelphia Film Festival, planned for the fall, say they will offer an abbreviated, three-day, free festival in the spring - stepping in after another festival, CineFest, said last month that budget constraints obliged it to cancel its international film festival in April.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Love of literature. Lust for food. The history of the Israeli Air Force. These are just some of the themes that will come together in the 34th annual Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, which will screen 16 feature films and seven shorts at area venues, including the Gershman Y and the National Museum of American Jewish History, from Saturday through Nov. 16. This year, there is a notable profusion of "personal stories about individuals who...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2014 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
If a cinema orgy promising more than 100 films from 28 countries in 11 days can ever seem manageable, the 23d Philadelphia Film Festival does it. It's not remotely possible to catch everything in the ambitious program, which began Thursday night with the gala premiere of Birdman and ends Oct. 26 with more than a dozen titles spread across four venues. But the selection and scheduling of films - from awards-season candidates to homegrown docs, from musicals to new masterworks - makes sense, somehow.
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
THE 23RD PHILADELPHIA Film Festival ramps up today with an assortment of Hollywood sneak peaks and buzzed-about indies and foreign titles. The festival officially commenced yesterday with opening day screenings of Bill Murray's "St Vincent" and also "Birdman," the latter featuring Michael Keaton's sensational and sure-to-be Oscar-nominated performance as an aging Hollywood star mounting a Broadway comeback. The festival concludes Oct. 26 with a closing night screening of another likely Oscar contender, "Wild," featuring Reese Witherspoon in an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's best-seller about a thousand-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.
NEWS
June 27, 2014 | BY MOLLY EICHEL, Daily News Staff Writer eichelm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5909
MERIWETHER LEWIS, half of the famed exploring duo Lewis and Clark, started his expedition in Philadelphia, at the American Philosophical Society, learning medicine, botany, astronomy and other skills that would help him on his journey mapping the country. Their expedition ended in Oregon, where the weary travelers set up camp before heading home. The same could be said for director Justin Schwarz and his debut film, "The Discoverers. " Lewis (Griffin Dunne) drags his two estranged children with him to aid his grieving father, who is part of a re-enactment troupe.
NEWS
May 25, 2014 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
People were talking about a little black-and-white Polish movie at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. People like Alfonso Cuarón , who would go on to win the Oscar for directing Gravity , and who couldn't say enough about Ida , the story of a quiet, sheltered 18-year-old preparing to become a nun. Cuarón called it the best thing he'd seen in years. At the Philadelphia Film Festival a month later, Alexander Payne , who came to town to premiere his not-yet-Oscar-nominated-best-picture Nebraska , likewise praised Ida to the skies.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
How far should our leaders go to ensure we stay true to our moral ideals? Should the state employ a morality police, as in Iran? A crazy idea, right? Well, what if it happened in your own backyard? That's the premise of God's Neighbors , the bold, controversial, low-budget drama from Israeli director Meni Yaesh that opens the 33d Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival on Saturday night at the Gershman Y in Center City. Shot guerrilla-style, the film is about three baseball-bat-wielding toughs from the Israeli town of Bat Yam who viciously attack those who don't follow the strictest interpretation of Jewish religious law. The Jewish Film Festival runs through Nov. 16 with screenings and parties at nine venues in the city and suburbs.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
After giving fans a weeklong tour of world cinema, the Philadelphia Film Festival returns home this weekend with Greater Filmadelphia, a program of six feature films made by local artists or set in the Philly region. "The program tries to highlight local talent and stories that are from here," festival artistic director Michael Lerman said in a phone chat, "to help us stay connected to the film community here and the community at large. " Five of the films will screen Saturday at the Prince Music Theater as part of an all-day mini-fest.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
More so than most years, this year's Philadelphia Film Festival - which began Thursday night with All Is Lost and its revelatory solo turn by Robert Redford and concludes next weekend with Jason Reitman's Labor Day as the official closing-night entry - offers a generous forecast of awards-season favorites and front-runners. How can Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of 12 Years a Slave (added late to the Centerpiece program), not be in line for an Oscar best-actor nomination? Ditto Bruce Dern in Alexander Payne's road pic Nebraska . And Redford, in the lost-at-sea masterpiece from filmmaker J.C. Chandor - at 77, he has never won an acting Oscar.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 2012 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
It's impossible. It's exhilarating. It's a quick fix. It's total immersion. It's that strange beast known as a film festival, a time to be surprised and startled, provoked and transported - and on occasion, to be bored or enraged. And it's a time to tear around town with your dog-eared, marked-up program guide - or your thumb-smeared calendar app - hustling to get to the next screening before the theater lights go dark. The 21st Philadelphia Film Festival began Thursday night with one of the strongest opening entries ever, and certainly the most Philly-centric: David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook . (The raw and rollicking Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence dramedy romance starts its theatrical run Nov. 21.)
NEWS
October 19, 2012
THE PHILADELPHIA Film Festival will probably never have an opening-night film as ideal as last night's "Silver Linings Playbook. " The movie is a likely Oscar contender, with a rare mix of strong local content and Hollywood star power - a story about love, Eagles and sanity featuring local product Bradley Cooper alongside luminaries Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence. Giving audiences a sneak peek at some of the season's prestige titles has always been a key festival feature.
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